I started writing Navigating by Faith at the end of 2012 after a stretch of some gentle nagging in my heart and mind. I believed then that writing is what God wanted me to do, so I set out to write.
By the statistics, I haven’t taken the Internet by storm. At just over 10,000 views the last two years, I haven’t gotten close to the views some people get on a single post or video, and this year is the first in which I had fewer views than the year before. Pretty humble numbers.
While I look at the numbers (who doesn’t), I don’t write for the numbers. It wasn’t my motivation in the beginning, and I am reminded often that I write simply because I feel God has prompted me to write. I don’t really know the reason. I trust God will do what He will with it. I’m not sure it is for me to know.
I struggle at times to write. I don’t feel particularly insightful much of the time. When I do have some nuanced ideas coursing through my mind, the act of getting those ideas through a keyboard out onto a screen often seems to result in the dissipation of them. I find the subtlest and most poignant ideas sometimes elude me as I try to capture them in print. Almost inevitably, the ideas I begin with morph as I try to get them out.
I try to listen to the Holy Spirit and be inspired and guided by Him. For this reason, I don’t often plan what I write. Almost never. My writing is an extension of the things I am reading, thinking about and very often praying about as I meditate on God and what He seems to be saying in my inner being.
As I look back at my first blog post (In the Beginning Was the Word), I am reminded the guiding principal that has been with me since the beginning is the idea that God’s word does not return to Him empty; it will accomplish that which He purposes, and it will succeed in the thing for which He sent it (from Isaiah 55:10-11). I am not sure how often I am able to channel the Holy Spirit when I write, but my hope is that I sometimes do.
To the extent that I have been able to speak God’s word (not scripture, but prophetic utterance), I have done what I believe God has given for me to do. The rest is up to Him.
I find it easier to write “intellectual” pieces (rather than inspirational or creative pieces). I find it much more difficult to be creative. In fact, it’s downright work. Trying to string together a series of blog posts on one difficult subject is also work.
If anyone has read my blog over time and has any insight into which types of writings seem to be most effective for me, or resonate most with you as a reader, I would appreciate the insight. Constructive criticism is welcome.
With that said, here are the ten most viewed blog posts for 2019 at Navigating by Faith in descending order:
- 541 – It is Well with My Soul: The Story from May 5, 2014
- 411 – Donald Trump, Fruit and Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing from January 15, 2018
- 259 – The Message in the Earliest Creeds in the New Testament from August 15, 2016
- 255 – Is God a Hard Taskmaster? from July 10, 2017
- 200 – Reflections on the Influence of Stephen Hawking from March 19, 2018
- 135 – The Making of New Wine Skins from January 24, 2017
- 132 – The Ebla Tablets Confirm Biblical Accounts from August 22, 2015
- 122 – Tuning In To God’s Frequency from October 7, 2016
- 118 – The Ebla Tablets Revisited from January 31, 2019
- 115 – C. S. Lewis on Individualism, Equality and the Church from July 9, 2015
It’s interesting to me that the oldest blog article on the top ten list for 2019 was also the most viewed in 2019. The writing of the old hymn, It is well with My Soul, is a true story that obviously resonates. In a chaotic and troubled world, I guess we need to know that God can be our rock that protects us from the wind and waves.
I am not surprised that an article on Donald Trump is in the top ten (second in fact). I don’t relish writing about him (or about politics for that matter). As Christians, I believe we are to respect the authorities in place, but we shouldn’t idolize them. No one has divided the world, the United States and the Church like Donald Trump.
I spend a lot of my time on the intellectual bases of faith. At least four top ten articles fall in this category. At number 3, an article on the earliest creeds tracks the great work of Gary Habermas that shows how the first followers of Jesus began to spread the word that Jesus rose from the dead right from the beginning. Habermas shows in this way that the resurrection isn’t a legendary development that arose generations after Jesus died. The resurrection was communicated as if it were a fact from the beginning.
Two of the apologetic articles are on the same subject: the Ebla Tablets. These tablets are Sumerian writings that date to the 3rd Century BCE and confirm many people, places and things found in the biblical writings. The contribution of archaeology in proving the reliability of Scripture as historical writings can’t be overstated.
Meanwhile, reflections on the death of Stephen Hawking, inspired by the words of John Lennox, who knew him, also has an apologetic bent to it. I continue to find it intriguing that nonbelievers and believers are counted among the smartest people in the world. It tells us that faith makes sense even to some of the smartest people, but faith is accessible to anyone.
Three of the top ten blog posts in 2019 were also in the top five blog posts for each of the last four years: It Is Well with My Soul: The Story; the Ebla Tablets Confirm Biblical Accounts; and C.S. Lewis on Individualism, Equality and the Church. They also stand as the top three blog posts of the blog going back to the beginning.
In fact, all of the top ten but two from the beginning are in the top ten for 2019. The exceptions are The Hobby Case Summarized (most views of which remain from the year it was published) and A Message in a Manger (maybe because I didn’t repost it in 2019 as I have in most years). They were ousted by Reflections on the Influence if Stephen Hawking and The Ebla Tablets Revisited in the 2019 top ten.
The top ten blog posts over the life of Navigating by Faith are as follows:
- 1520 – It is Well with My Soul: The Story from May 5, 2014
- 1107 – The Ebla Tablets Confirm Biblical Accounts from August 22, 2015
- 784 – C. S. Lewis on Individualism, Equality and the Church from July 9, 2015
- 740 – Donald Trump, Fruit and Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing from January 15, 2018
- 700 – The Hobby Lobby Case Summarized from July 1, 2014
- 632 – The Message in the Earliest Creeds in the New Testament from August 15, 2016
- 501 – Is God a Hard Taskmaster? from July 10, 2017
- 426 – A Message in a Manger from December 9, 2013
- 388 – Tuning In To God’s Frequency from October 7, 2016
- 370 – The Making of New Wine Skins from January 24, 2017
Thank you, everyone who has read this post looking back at 2019 and over the life of Navigating By Faith, and thank you everyone who has visited the blog, read the articles and posted comments. I appreciate the feedback. I hope you got something out of what I have done. Have a wonderful, faith-filled 2020.